SmugMug understands why Flickr is important

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

I’m torn between thinking Yahoo is just fundamentally stupid, and Marissa Mayer especially, and thinking that Flickr, at its best, is simply a small business that can not support the kind of giant returns that venture capital, and then later public investors wanted. So perhaps Yahoo could only destroy Flickr, by demanding it support more than it could. But that simply goes back to Yahoo being stupid.

SmugMug is a successful mostly family owned business, looking for normal business returns, not the outrageous returns expected by venture capital, so it can develop the real value of Flickr:

In 2013, Yahoo lost sight of what makes Flickr truly special and responded to a changing landscape in online photo sharing by giving every Flickr user a staggering terabyte of free storage. This, and numerous related changes to the Flickr product during that time, had strongly negative consequences.

First, and most crucially, the free terabyte largely attracted members who were drawn by the free storage, not by engagement with other lovers of photography. This caused a significant tonal shift in our platform, away from the community interaction and exploration of shared interests that makes Flickr the best shared home for photographers in the world. We know those of you who value a vibrant community didn’t like this shift, and with this change we’re re-committing Flickr to focus on fostering this interaction.

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